i decided to do exam 4 over….here it goes
Good morning all. This morning’s discussion will be on both readings we have just heard from two phenomenal theorists Judith Butler and Jasbir Puar. But before I start I would like to first thank you all for giving me the chance of being here on this panel. My first attempt didn’t pan out exactly as planned, but today I plan on posing a few questions about what we have just heard, while give my personal opinion on the pieces, and hope we all can take something meaningful from this discussion.
One major point I received from Butler’s piece was that gender and sex are both social constructs. The way I see Butler’s description of “gender” is that it is an ideology in a sense, which makes it an acquired cultural social category/label. And the word “sex,” isn’t to far from that, as Butler views this term as yet another similar category, which stems from social practices. I completely see how exactly this notion of viewing both sex and gender comes about, especially since the two words are used almost interchangeably in our culture today, but there are a number of people, including myself, which view sex as a term used to describe a given person’s genitals. Whether it was attached since birth, or added on later in life, a person’s genital always meant their sex. This leads me to my first question, is sex truly socially produced, or is it the labels attached to genitals that are socially constructed?
This topic leads me to the idea of “doing gender,” or as Butler would say it performative gender. Performative gender, which is performances, actions, and or behaviors that are attributed to a particular sex, or as I would say, a particular sex organ, essentially helped create the ideas of what many people view as masculine and feminine. And what I got from Butler was that in order to dismantle the societal idea of gender, one must essentially “mix things up a bit.” But living in the society we live in today which strives to understand things by placing a tag on everything, leaves me to question whether or not “mixing things up,” will even make a difference. What prevents a different type of behavior that necessarily doesn’t easily confined to what is thought to being feminine, or masculine behavior, and what some will believe as being “ungendered,” from being created into some sort of new third gender?
The thought of different labels brings me to Puar’s piece, which she uses the term intersectionality. What this term represents to me is the natural ability for people to wear many “hats.” For a woman to be a mother, a daughter, a doctor, and African American all shows that people are easily simultaneously placed in numerous categories at the same time. However, as Puar pointed out, intersectionality can possibly favor white women, in comparison to other women. Which leads me to question, since intersectionality can easily divide and further place individuals in different categories, why is it still being used and defended by many theories, in particular feminist today? Can equality be reached when some of those who are fighting for it continue to further emphasize people’s differences?
Before I open the floor for discussion I would like to thank everyone again for this opportunity and hope that I sparked some ideas of your own